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Swarbrick on Big East / ACC

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, December 17, 2012, 13:39

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-notre-dames-swarbrick-to-push-big-east...

Notre Dame's Swarbrick to push Big East for answers 'sooner than later'

By Brian Hamilton
Tribune reporter
2:32 p.m. CST, December 17, 2012

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The split of seven Catholic schools from the Big East, it was suggested to Jack Swarbrick, produced a lot of asset-splitting that made it very much like a divorce.

"And we're the kid," the Notre Dame athletics director joked Monday.

It's really no laughing matter, though, when the fracture in the Big East hurls the various schedules of the Irish's non-football endeavors into doubt for next fall. The primary question: Will there even be a league to compete in?

In order to ensure his teams have people to play, Swarbrick said he will push for a resolution as quickly as possible. Asked if he'd like to settle it in a month, he replied: "Maybe even sooner, frankly."

"You gotta try to push people," Swarbrick said. "The challenge in this environment is, we're not the focus right now. We're the tail. That's a little but of the challenge for us: How do you accelerate the discussion? How do you get some clarity? I don't know where the point is, but there is a point where I can't have our teams at risk, of not knowing what they're doing. And that's probably sooner rather than later."

Notre Dame, of course, set at least a few dominos falling by announcing on Sept. 12 that it would join the ACC for all sports except football and hockey. The school was never on the hook for an exit fee from the Big East but was required to wait 27 months before moving.

Negotiations to leave earlier than that mostly revolved around creative scheduling to help fill Big East holes, not Notre Dame ponying up some cash. But does the Big East tumult now make Swarbrick more optimistic that the Irish will be in the ACC for the 2013-14 season?

"Boy, that's a good question," Swarbrick said. "Every day brings new information. More optimistic today than I was a week ago, just because of what's happened. But not far along to be any more definitive than that."

Until then, Swarbrick has to figure out who to talk to between the Catholic schools and the football-playing schools of the Big East, just to move the process along.

"Those two parties have to divide assets," Swarbrick said. "It poses a question about who you're even talking to. Who is the Big East? Which of the two sides of that has the Big East name and rights? Who might lay claim to the Notre Dame affiliation moving forward? It's an interesting dynamic to figure out where that's all headed.

"I have to make sure our student-athletes are taken care of. You could imagine a situation where that division happens and we're on an island. We're by ourselves. We haven't figure it out yet, but I'm also very conscious of the fact that, at some point, we have to know what next year looks like, and who we're playing."

Tags:
swarbrick, ACC

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better summary from BGI

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Monday, December 17, 2012, 14:16 @ Jay
edited by Jay, Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 10:43

Big East Moves Impact Notre Dame

Wes Morgan
20 minutes ago

The Big East Conference, in terms of football, is dead, though it might take two more years for it to flatline. With Saturday's announcement that the seven basketball-only Catholic institutions are breaking away to form their own hoops-centric league, Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick is even more comfortable with his September decision to take Fighting Irish sports (other than football and hockey) to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

Now it's a matter of whether or not Notre Dame can wait that long.

The question all along has been whether or not Swarbrick would comply with Big East bylaws, which requires 27 months notice in order to leave the Big East without penalty, or go ahead and join the ACC next fall. However, Swarbrick revealed Monday that Notre Dame is not subject to early-exit penalties like the ones recently negotiated for Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Big East rules allow schools to leave as a group without being obligated to pay exit fees, which is exactly what Georgetown, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall, St. John's, DePaul and Providence are doing.

"We withdrew under the same agreement that the seven basketball schools withdrew under," Swarbrick said. "We don't owe any withdrawal fee - never have. It's not in dispute; never has been. The nature of that separate agreement provides that we don't. It's a different dynamic with us. We're not trying to negotiate a withdrawal fee; there isn't one."

What Swarbrick won't know until numerous details concerning the Catholic schools' split are resolved is from whom Notre Dame is actually withdrawing.

"We're trying to assess it," he said. "We're a little like you are right now; we're trying to get information and figure it out. One of the challenges right now is I'm not even sure who I talk to.

"If this splits into two conferences, and one of the things they negotiate over is the Big East name, who has the Big East name? Who has the Notre Dame affiliation? Those are the very fundamental things that somebody has to figure out. The challenge for us is how long can we wait for people to figure that out? That's the issue we're wrestling with."

The other issues include perceived-versus-actual stability of the ACC and how all these conference shifts will ultimately affect the college athletics landscape.

Maryland recently announced it was leaving for the Big Ten, where it will begin play in 2014. The ACC's council of presidents unanimously decided to file legal action against the Terrapins, suing for full payment of a $53 million exit fee.

"I was surprised by the timing of it, not the fact of it," Swarbrick said of Maryland's decision. "The timing surprised me a lot. Well, since I predicted stability at that time, I should probably stay out of the prediction business. I think clearly the Big East thing has to resolve itself because that will have some ramifications. Beyond that there may be some moves.

"There will be television-driven moves that may happen in the future. I am not one who subscribes to the four-conference model. I can't get there; I can't do the math and figure out how you'd ever get there. I don't see that happening."

For now, Swarbrick is busy figuring out what entity to which Notre Dame is waving goodbye, and the timeline of that departure.

"Those two parties [involved in the Big East split] have to divide assets," Swarbrick explained. "It poses a question about who you're even talking to. Who is the Big East? Which of the two sides of that has the Big East name and rights, and who might lay claim to the Notre Dame affiliation going forward? It's an interesting dynamic to try and figure out where all that's headed. One of the real challenges we have right now is trying to assess when that might settle out.

"I've got to make sure our student-athletes are taken care of. You could imagine a situation where that division happens and we're on an island - we're by ourselves. We haven't figured it out yet. I'm also very conscious of the fact that at some point we've got to know what next year looks like and whom we're playing. If we don't, we've got to figure something out."

Legal action isn't in the cards, Swarbrick said. Irish men's head basketball coach Mike Brey is hopeful he'll know when the school will take up residence in the ACC within the next month. Swarbrick said that's a reasonable expectation.

"Maybe even sooner, frankly," Swarbrick said. "You've got to push this thing along. I'm doing exactly what you guys are doing, trying to get information, talking to people and trying to understand what they think is going to happen her.

"I don't see us filing lawsuits. I think you've got to try and push people. The challenge in this environment is we're not the focus now; we're the tail. How do you accelerate the discussion? How do you get some clarity? I don't know where the point is, but there is a point where I can't have our teams at risk and not knowing what they're doing. That's probably sooner rather than later."

Tags:
swarbrick, ACC

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To anyone who still somehow doubts Swarbrick's skill

by Chris (HCC) @, Paradise, Monday, December 17, 2012, 15:12 @ Jay

I have one statement to offer you:

""We withdrew under the same agreement that the seven basketball schools withdrew under," Swarbrick said. "We don't owe any withdrawal fee - never have. It's not in dispute; never has been. The nature of that separate agreement provides that we don't. It's a different dynamic with us. We're not trying to negotiate a withdrawal fee; there isn't one."

He's a cold-blooded killer.

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